Lexington Shoplifting Lawyer
Were you accused of stealing merchandise from a store in Lexington, Kentucky? Assert your right to remain silent and enlist the help of the experienced Lexington shoplifting lawyer at Oakley & Oakley, LLC. My name is Jay Oakley. I’ll defend you every step of the way and fight to help you secure the best possible outcome in your criminal theft case. A strong and smart defense can be the difference between time behind bars and walking away with your freedom intact. Contact my law office to arrange a free consultation to learn more today.
How I Can Help You Fight Shoplifting Charges
Shoplifting might seem like a minor offense, but these types of cases are taken very seriously in the state of Kentucky. If you’ve been arrested or charged, it is important to fight back. Fortunately, you don’t have to do that alone. At Oakley & Oakley, LLC, I am here to help. When you hire me, you’ll benefit from my nearly 20 years of experience handling the most complex criminal matters in and around Fayette County. I’ll fight for you by:
- Preventing the state from violating your constitutional rights
- Working tirelessly to try to secure your release from police custody
- Providing you with sound legal advice and guidance, as necessary
- Launching a thorough investigation into the state’s charges
- Providing you with an overview of your potential defense strategies
- Working out a plea bargain deal with the prosecutor
- Helping you understand the Kentucky criminal justice system
- Searching for evidence that might sway your case in your favor
- Presenting evidence and arguing on your behalf at trial, if required
I am ready to help you fight back against your shoplifting charges. Please do not hesitate to give me a call to set up a free consultation at my law offices in Lexington. Having handled many cases like yours in the past, I know what it takes to win.
Understanding Kentucky’s Shoplifting Laws
The state of Kentucky does not have a rule or regulation on its books that specifically targets shoplifters. As such, when law enforcement officers in Lexington catch people stealing merchandise from retailers, they typically charge them with theft by unlawful taking or disposition (KRS § 514.030). This Kentucky law explains that it is unlawful for an individual to:
- Take or exercise control over another person’s movable property with the intent of depriving them of its use
- Obtain another person’s immovable property with the intention of benefiting themselves or another party
Courts usually classify this crime as a Class A misdemeanor. However, the prosecution can upgrade it to a Class D felony if:
- The property is worth more than $500 but less than $10,000.
- The property is a firearm.
When the value of the stolen goods is more than $10,000 but less than $1 million, this criminal offense is a Class C felony.
How Your Criminal History Could Affect Your Current Case
Your prior brushes with the law can have an enormous influence on your life. Once you pay your fines or serve jail time, you will likely have to face the additional collateral consequences of your conviction. Having a criminal conviction can prevent you from getting desirable jobs and living where you would like. What’s worse, your criminal history can influence a prosecutor’s decisions about new charges and can result in harsher punishments for subsequent convictions. If you have legal questions about a current criminal case, seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
What is a Criminal Defense Attorney and When do You Need One?
A criminal defense attorney represents individuals who are under investigation for criminal activity. They represent clients who might be witnesses in a criminal case. They also represent individuals charged with crimes.
If you or a family member has been arrested or is dealing with a criminal law matter, it is wise to consult a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer During a Free Consultation
When you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you, it can be challenging to know what you are looking for. Obviously, you want your lawyer to be experienced, attentive, and personable. After all, who you hire matters. That is why it is so important you are prepared when you meet with an attorney for a free consultation. Knowing which questions to ask and what answers to look for can help you weed out the lawyers who might not be a good fit and zero in on the attorneys who will do an excellent job defending you. But many people who are in search of a lawyer are doing so for the first time. They have never been arrested or summoned to a courtroom before. Knowing where to even begin can be stressful in and of itself. To help you navigate the challenging process of hiring the right lawyer, here are several questions you might want to ask during a free consultation.
Do Kentucky Stores Have The Right To Apprehend Suspected Shoplifters?
According to Section 433.236 of the Kentucky Revised Code, shops in the city of Lexington can arrest and detain anyone they suspect of taking any merchandise in an unlawful way. However, they only have the authority to do so for a reasonable length of time. In most cases, these detentions have to happen within the grounds of the store. However, retailers may take their suspects off-site to:
- Recover items that were stolen by the suspected shoplifter
- Verify the identity of the shoplifter
- Find a law enforcement officer and surrender the suspect
I am well-versed in every aspect of Kentucky criminal law. So, if you were detained or arrested on suspicion of shoplifting in the city of Lexington, please do not hesitate to give meus a call. I may be able to use my legal skills and experience to help you escape conviction.
Consequences Of Shoplifting Convictions In The State Of Kentucky
The state of Kentucky doles out some severe criminal penalties to people who steal goods from retailers within its borders. Convictions for offenses of this nature almost always result in hefty fines and prison or jail time. The specific nature of each convict’s punishment depends on the severity of their shoplifting crime. The punishments are as follows:
- Class A misdemeanors: Between 90 days and 12 months in county jail as well as a fine of up to $500
- Class D felonies: Between one and five years in prison as well as a fine of up to $10,000
- Class C felonies: Between five and 10 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $10,000
Of course, when the state of Kentucky convicts an individual of a criminal charge of this nature, it doesn’t just send them to jail and make them pay a fine. It also hands them a permanent criminal record. People with criminal records in the Bluegrass State can experience a wide range of collateral consequences to their actions, such as:
- Difficulty landing a job: Businesses in the state of Kentucky tend to shy away from hiring people with criminal records.
- Professional licensing problems: Professional licensing boards in Kentucky often turn down applications from convicted criminals.
- Struggles finding housing: Landlords in the Lexington area prefer to avoid renting homes to felons and other convicted criminals.
- Difficulty in obtaining student loans: The federal government is not in the habit of issuing student loans to convicted felons.
- Loss of gun ownership rights: Kentuckians lose the right to carry, own, buy and use firearms when a court convicts them of a felony.
- Immigration issues: Deportation can occur for noncitizen felons after they serve out their prison sentences.
- Loss of privacy: The friends and colleagues of convicted criminals can quickly find out more about their past by performing a cursory online search.
- Harsher future punishments: Convicted criminals in the state of Kentucky tend to get penalized much more severely when they get into trouble with the law again in the future.
In most instances, the only way a convict can stop enduring the collateral consequences outlined above is to get their criminal record expunged.